App Review: Splashtop Remote Desktop

Whats better than having access to every file on your PC from anywhere with your Galaxy Tab? How about having the entire PC desktop experience everywhere you go, including full speed audio and video? (Yes that means Hulu and Netlfix.)  Splashtop Remote Desktop has you covered for all your remote PC or Mac needs, best of all, you can have the service up and running in less than 10 minutes.

The Android Market has seen its fair share of desktop streaming clients, however Splashtop Remote outdoes them all. Featuring high speed performance with little to no lag to speak of, Splashtop Remote is a dream of an app. For starters there’s full flash and video support, meaning Netflix and Hulu stream perfectly on your Galaxy Tab. In fact the first time I used this app i thought the service seemed too good to be true, I thought there’d be an update that would bring monthly payments, I thought the video would stutter and skip, I was wrong. I’ve been using the app for months now and i can happily say this app lives up to its claims found on the Android market.

The app performs perfectly at its advertised abilities, so long as you have a fast connection. With my setup, i was able to boot up Mirror’s Edge for the PC and stream the game to the Galaxy Tab 7. (A real jaw dropper for the friends) The controls are for the most part solid, with a few hiccups that are likely due to the imprecise nature of navigating a computer within a tablet with your finger. Splashtop does however implement a few tricks to make the process smoother, like two finger gestures for scrolling through web pages.  Also, if you are using a mouse and keyboard the experience is near identical to being on your actual PC.

It’s impossible to say whether this app will work well for everyone. At this time it doesn’t appear that the app will run over 3G or 4G, but that is subject to change as more and more 4G devices are released. Annoyances aside Splashtop should be on every power users list, and its available for both the original, and 10.1 editions of the Galaxy Tab.

Here’s a quick setup guide to get started with.

Step 1. First you need to hit up the Android Market and download the appropriate app for your Tab. All Original Galaxy Tab 7 users need to grab the original Splashtop Remote Desktop app for $1.99. While all Galaxy Tab 10.1 users need the HD version of the app, which runs for $4.99 (there’s also a free timed demo to see if it is for you or not).

Step 2. Head over to Splashtop’s homepage (http://www.splashtop.com/remote)  and download the streaming client for your computer, be sure to download the appropriate version. After a quick install you should be able to follow the instructions and have the server up and running.

Step 3. Pair your Tab with your PC within the Splashtop app on your Tab, it’ll ask for the address of your server, so be sure to be near your computer when setting this up for the first time as the address is displayed on the PC after you install the software.

Download: Splashtop for the Galaxy Tab 7″

Download: Splashtop for the Galaxy Tab 10.1″

Should you upgrade to the Galaxy Tab 10.1?

The new Galaxy Tab is out and you might be thinking about trading in your original Galaxy Tab for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. There is a lot of good things about the 10.1, but is it right for you?

Why you should

1. Display - The screen is larger and the resolution is higher making it much better for watching movies or browsing the web.

2. NVIDIA Tegra 2 - The Galaxy Tab 10.1 packs a powerful punch with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset. Its dual-core architecture makes the original Galaxy Tab seem as slow as molasses.

3. Honeycomb - The original Galaxy Tab runs Froyo/Gingerbread, which were both designed for phones originally. Samsung did make some customizations to the software to make it more tablet-friendly, but at the end of the day Honeycomb is for tablets and Android 2.x is for phones.

4. Tablet Optimized Apps - There is a growing number of apps designed for Honeycomb that take advantage of the large screen that will not work on the original Galaxy Tab.

5. Tegra Zone - NVIDIA has restricted THD games (Tegra HD) to phones or tablets with the NVIDIA Tegra 2. It might make you angry, but the only way to play those games is if your device has a Tegra 2 processor.

Why you shouldn’t

1. Portability - The seven inch screen on the original Galaxy Tab makes it extremely portable. It can even fit in some back pockets.

2. Phone capabilities - The international version of the original Galaxy Tab can double as a phone. It works perfectly with a Bluetooth headset.

3. Price - You already own the original Galaxy Tab, so you would have to shell out $499 to $599 to buy the new one. Even if you sold it, then you would only make around $250.

So what do you think? Is it worth it to upgrade?